Note from your Community Managers: For all inquires and requests regarding Status Challenges, please refer to the following thread:
Rather frustrated with Marriott Rewards right now.
Back in mid-February, I emailed the status challenge email and requested a Marriott Gold status challenge. I am already Marriott Silver.
I'm a new consultant, travelling Mon-Thurs every week. That's a lot of future stays. At that point, Marriott emailed me with the terms of the Gold challenge (6 stays before end of May 2015) to be qualified as Gold. Great, no problem, I was excited to have Gold status by the end of March (6 weeks = 6 stays).
I'm in the middle of my 5th stay, but when I checked in this week, I saw that I was already listed as Gold. This caused me to double check the challenge email from mid-Feb, when I noticed that I had to respond to the email to accept the challenge offer. As busy as I am, I missed that little detail, so my last 5 stays apparently do not count.
I emailed back and forth a few times with Marriott Rewards customer service today, as well as called their telephone customer service, and they won't budge -- they can't backdate the Gold status challenge start date to the original email date. I strongly suggested that I was likely to cancel my remaining reservations with Marriott (12 stays over the next 12 weeks at the same Marriott property, over the duration of my current client project) over my frustration, and they didn't seem to care.
I'm now enrolled in the Taste of Gold challenge, so it would require me to stay another 6 times to qualify. I was hoping to use stays in April and May to count towards Platinum status, instead of still working on qualifying for Marriott Gold. Additionally, the 2 stays I have scheduled over the next 2 weeks (before the start of the Taste of Gold challenge period on Apr 1) - don't count towards the challenge. So I'm inclined just to cancel those and stay somewhere else.
What are my options? Am I just out of luck, and have to restart my 6 stays? My objective is to have the 5 stays I've already completed count towards the 6 I need for Gold status. At this point I have 31 nights this year (including those with my Marriott Rewards Visa) so 6 more stays @ 3 nights each will get me to Gold just through the normal 50 nights.
I'm totally inclined to switch to the Sheraton up the road and start on their Platinum challenge instead for my next 12 stays. This just seems to be leaving a bad taste in my mouth and I can't believe Marriott would be willing to lose what will be a VERY frequent stay customer over a process that requires the customer to reply to confirm an offer that starts with "please allow me to extend the offer of a Gold Elite Status challenge."
Please, Marriott - make this right.
So if I understand this correctly you didn't accept the challenge by email, somehow became Gold anyway and now you are signed up for the gold challenge while already being gold? Sounds like a strange situation. It sounds like you will hit Platinum naturally without having to bother with challenges. Are you sure you want to leave the Marriott family over this?
I'm with chris0311 here. The explanation is very confused.
I think what happened is that bluepig1 took up the "Road to Gold" challenge, where after 6 stays Marriott promotes you to Gold for the rest of the year. Alas he didn't read his email confirming the offer and failed to register. He nonetheless commenced his stays in pursuit of the status but during his 5th stay he found out he'd been promoted to Gold somewhat earlier than expected. When he rang Customer Services he was told Marriott had comped him "Taste of Gold" giving immediate Gold status for 2-3 months but requiring 6 future stays to keep it for the rest of the year. Hence instead of being only 1 more stay from nailing Gold for the year he finds himself still 6 stays away.
The reason for his disillusionment is once he attained Gold he intended to apply for the Road to Platinum challenge which needs 9 stays to attain. Effectively therefore because he didn't read his incoming email bluepig1 finds himself 15 stays away from Platinum, instead of 10!
In other words bluepig1 planned to get from Blue to Plat via 15 stays (6 for Gold followed by 9 for Plat) in 2 status challenges during 2015, but I believe that plan was flawed from the outset because as far as I'm aware members are only able to ask for 1 challenge per year. And he's now had that, some might say twice!
OK. I was about to ask for an explanation because the original post was confusing, but you cleared that up.
Here's the thing: If he stays 4 days per week every week as he said and he is Gold already, he'll be Platinum with 6 more stays of 4 days each. Doesn't need a challenge.
Thanks for all of the contributions to this thread, everyone. Hey bluepig1, I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have, or connect you with a member of our team to discuss this further. Shoot me a DM with your Rewards number and best way to reach you. Thanks for sharing with the community!
Remember that once a member reaches Gold (through a challenge or by accruing 50 nights in a year) that status still needs to be renewed each year. The idea behind the challenges is to help folks who have good chance of reaching Gold later in the year, benefit from the status early. Marriott figures 6 stays over 3 months is a fair estimate of hitting 50 nights in a year. The benefit for the company is folks might book a couple extra stays to reach Gold and once they know the benefits will continue to stay with Marriott enough to maintain their status.
As for the value of Gold, I'd say the United/Marriott RewardsPlus program is a bigger issue with regard to "devaluing" the status.